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How Kano has become Kidnappers Den

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Abbas Yusha’u Yusuf

For the past four years Nigerians are awash with news of kidnappings of high and low profile personalities. Citizens whose loved ones are frequent travelers on Nigerian highways are not that tranquil unless until they relations return safely from their journeys.

A number of deviant Nigerians are exploiting the opportunity to make money from kidnapping; some are obscure while others are prominent. The horrors with which kidnappers are visiting Nigerians have made them to lose hope as if the crime is getting out of government’s hands. The security and welfare of people should be the primary responsibility of government.

For the past thirty years the springing of disperse settlements are making Kano city to be a haven for different categories of people apart from those living in the ancient city surrounded by  the old city wall.

Previous governments have frowned at how unorganized settlements are frustrating efforts in making the city one of the best even though its master plan has been disrupted severally by allocation of plots by the same governments calling on residents to help organized the city.

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The failure of urban planning in Kano metropolis

The plight of rural dwellers in Kano

No one will purchase a piece of land or a house without a ward head or a village head signing the receipt but the big question is why are kidnappers hiding in Kano?

When Magajin Garin Daura was abducted for more than 42 days, his captors brought him to Kano. People were thinking that Magajin Garin Daura was not even alive or was flown out of the country, but unfortunately he was found in Kano.

The most terrifying thing of recent was that of Hamisu Bala Wadume, a kidnapper who escaped from the Intelligence Response Team of the Nigerian Police with the aid of soldiers as he confessed. His port of call was Kano.

Every sane person knows very well that government alone cannot commit enough resources to secure the whole of Kano people. Kano residents must therefore stand up and initiate ways to ensure their security so that they will not be sleeping with kidnappers and other criminal elements.

Recently, Tudun Yola community has started taken measures to tackle the security situation. Tudun Yola is a middle class and elite community in Kano. The residents have cooperated and registered every household in their area, the occupants, and their means of earning a livelihood. Even the watchmen guarding various houses are registered by the community after providing valid addresses and references. These steps will make the community to address insecurity bedeviling the area.

Every Tom, Dick, and Harry may come to Kano and hide if government did not address how future settlements develop. If Wadume from one of the farthest northern states will hide in Kano after escaping from the police, who else cannot?

The money spent in creating Emirates in the state would have been used to cooperate with ward and village heads to address hidden criminals in their midst.

Abbas Yushau Yusuf can be reached at abyushau2@gmail.com

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Ganduje vows to punish kidnappers of 9 Kano kids, to raise ‘powerful’ probe panel

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By Nazifi Dawud

Kano state governor, Abdullahi Umar Ganduje has vowed to punish kidnappers of nine Kano children, who were arrested by the Kano police command and ensure that justice is done for the victims.

Kano Focus reports that the Kano Police Command had rescued nine missing children and paraded six Igbo persons who have confessed to abducting children and selling them in Onitsha, Anambra state.

The state government’s response came just as parents of other missing children demanded the release of 47 more kids suspected to have been abducted by a criminal syndicate who specialize in seizing young Muslim children, renaming, converting them to Christianity and selling them into slavery in Southern parts of the country.

In a statement on Tuesday by Abba Anwar, the governor’s chief press secretary, Ganduje assured that justice would be done for the nine children as “all legal instruments would be used to address the situation squarely”.

He said “the arrested kidnappers, who allegedly participated in the heinous act, along with their accomplices would be prosecuted, so that they face all legal consequences.”

The governor promised that in addition to getting justice for the nine rescued children, his government would also collaborate with security agencies to “unearth similar cases”.

“Kidnapping is seriously abhorred and condemnable. What is more worrisome is the age of the victims, kids for that matter. My administration, Kano people and any right thinking individual or groups of individuals, condemn this from all standpoints.

“Government will invite the parents of those rescued from the alleged kidnappers for further discussion and relationship. While at the same we are seriously working with the security agencies to unearth similar cases. No stone will be un-turned,” he vowed.

Mr Ganduje revealed that “a powerful committee is in the pipeline to see to the root cause of this and find lasting solution to it and similar criminal activities.”

“We are coming up with a powerful committee that will critically look at this disturbing scenario, with the view to seeing to the root cause and avert re-occurance. This and similar crimes must be stopped,” he warned.

The governor also commends all the security agencies for the role they played in rescuing the kids, while calling on the members of the public to continue cooperating with the security agencies, so as to have safer and more peaceful Kano.

“People should continue with their prayers, so that we can get more protection from Allah. Parents should always be extra vigilant on the movement of their children. We all know that it is Allah Who Protects all, but we as human beings, we must stand up and be very cautious and then we pray,” he added.

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Conversion to Christianity: Kano parents demand release of 47 more abducted children

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By Nazifi Dawud

Parents of missing children in Kano state are demanding the release of 47 more children suspected to be abducted by a criminal Igbo syndicate who specialize in seizing young Muslim children, renaming, converting them to Christianity and selling them into slavery in the Southern part of the country.

Kano Focus reports that the Kano Police Command had rescued nine missing children and paraded six Igbo persons who have confessed to abducting children and selling them in Onitsha, Anambra state.

However, parents of other missing children in the state, who formed a group–Protection Against the Abduction of Our Missing Children, requested the government and the police to intensify efforts to ensure that the 47 identified missing children are also rescued.

Secretary of the group, Malam Shuaibu Ibahim, who spoke Monday on behalf of other members said they are going through extreme trauma due to the abduction of their children by the criminal syndicates.

Mr Ibrahim said since the police have already arrested suspects in connection with the ‘kidnap for Christ’ scandal, they should interrogate the suspects to reveal their accomplices so that other children still missing can be found and returned to  their parents.

The parents also released the list of the 47 missing children as well as photos of 23 of the children who were kidnapped from neighbourhoods such as Walalambe, Walawai Hotoro, Kawo and Tinshama, all in Kano city.

Also, another member of the group, Tajiri Hotoro, had told journalists that the number of missing children abducted within the last four years in Nasarawa local government area alone, is more than 100.

“Quite a number of parents have resigned to their fate. Some do not even have the transport fare to attending our meetings.

“We are calling on government and other relevant agencies to join together to rescue our children. We are in deep agony,” he was quoted as saying.

‘Dangerous trend’

In a statement on Monday, a group of Kano elders, under the platform of Kano Concerned Citizens Initiative (KCCI) condemned what it described as “a specialized organized crime that manipulates religion to exploit the innocent children.”

Alhaji Bashir Othman Tofa, chairman of the group warned that the abduction of Kano children and converting them to Christianity “is a very dangerous dimension.”

“Whatever was the purpose of these abductions it is still frightening because of the newspaper reports of the horrendous experiences the children underwent. This is a specialized organized crime that manipulates religion to exploit the innocent children. It is widely re-ported that the names of the children were changed and they were “converted” to Christianity. This is a very dangerous dimension,” the statement read.

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Hotoro community blames KEDCO over rise in crimes

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KEDCO

Mukhtar Yahya Usman

Residents of Walawa in Hotoro area of Nasarawa Local government, Kano state are blaming the Kano Electricity  Distribution Company (KEDCO) for a rise in  robbery and other criminal activities as result of  power outages in the area.

Speaking to KANO FOCUS one of the residents, Garba Muhammad said KEDCO supplies electricity to the area for only three days per week and plunges them in darkness in the remaining four days.

Mr. Muhammad said the incessant darkness has given cover to hoodlums who rob the residents and commit other forms of crime.

He accused KEDCO of diverting electricity from the transformer serving the community and supplying it to a nearby petrol filling station.

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“There is electricity in our area, but KEDCO removes our fuse for four days just to feed the filling station nearby. Almost 70% of our houses have meters but KEDCO still disconnects our supply.”

“We have reported the matter to the authorities concerned but the situation is yet to change.” He said.

Another resident, Hamza Yahya alleges that KEDCO is deliberately rejecting the power supplied by the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) due to its inability to pay for the electricity consumed.

“We are seriously suffering from KEDCO’s exploitation.  Our houses are metered and the power is there in our transformer but the annoying thing is that KEDCO removes the fuse to deny us the electricity.”

“We investigated  the matter and found that TCN brings abundant electric power to Kano but KEDCO only accepts 40-45% of the supply.” He said.

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When contacted, Ibrahim Sani Shawai, KEDCO’s Head of Corporate Communications said he needed some time to respond to the allegation.

Mr Shawai is yet to respond to these complaints three days after they were brought to him.

It could be recalled that KEDCO was recently enmeshed in disputes with the TCN and the Nigeria Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) over its failure to pay for the electricity consumed in its operational area.

However KEDCO had blamed electricity consumers of amassing huge debts necessitating the company to embark on massive disconnection of power.

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